‘We must not fail the people of Haiti,’ Ruto says after UN Security Council approves Kenya-led mission
President William Ruto has welcomed the United Nations Security Council’s approval of a foreign security mission to Haiti amid gang violence that has rocked the Caribbean country’s capital Port-au-Prince for over a year.
The 15-member council on Monday adopted a resolution that authorizes the Kenya-led 'Multinational Security Support mission' to support Haiti police in combating the gangs.
The resolution, drafted by the United States and Ecuador, was approved with 13 votes in favour while China and Russia abstained from the vote.
Through a press statement on Tuesday, President Ruto welcomed the council’s decision, terming it “an overdue and critical instrument to define the multinational mission.”
Ruto described the mission as a moral obligation for the international community.
“The situation in Haiti demands, as a matter of humanitarian consideration, moral responsibility and fundamental justice, that actions be scaled up significantly to meet the demands of emergency relief, humanitarian aid, support for livelihoods and major interventions in public health and environmental protection,” he said.
Kenya has offered to send 1,000 troops to Haiti, while the Bahamas has committed 150 people as Jamaica, Antigua and Barbuda pledge to help.
President Ruto said the mission “will provide a different footprint in the history of international interventions in Haiti.”
He termed Kenya’s move an affirmation of Pan-African commitment to the continent's unity together with the African Union's policy of solidarity with the African Diaspora, bound by Africa’s colonial history.
“For us in Kenya, this mission is of special significance and critical urgency. We experienced the harrowing brunt of colonialism, as well as the long, difficult and frustrating struggle for freedom against those that can influence international institutions to frustrate justice,” said Ruto.
“In our struggle, we always had friends, not an overwhelming multitude of powerful allies, yet nevertheless true, loyal and determined friends. The people of Haiti, our dear friends, today stand in need. It is our fundamental moral obligation to be their friend indeed, by standing with them.”
Ruto Gabon, Ghana, Mozambique and all other members of the UN Security Council for their support of the process.
“We shall succeed in Haiti. We must not fail the people of Haiti,” the president added.
Monday’s resolution authorizes the mission "to take all necessary measures" - code for use of force - in tackling the gangs, which is why China and Russia kept off the vote for fear of authorizing the blanket use of force under Chapter 7 of the founding U.N. Charter.
Foreign Affairs Cabinet Secretary Alfred Mutua has previously said the Kenyan troops are set to hit the ground in Port-au-Prince “in the coming months”, without specifying when.
Armed gangs have seized control of large tracks of Haiti’s land following intersecting public health, political and economic crises.
The Western Hemisphere's poorest country has been plunged into chaos since the assassination of President Jovenel Moïse in July 2021 at his private residence in Port-au-Prince.
United Nations figures show that more than 2,400 people have died in violence there since the start of the year.
There have been calls for an international force to intervene, and last month the United States said up to a dozen countries had offered support while pledging its own logistical assistance.
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